NAST PHL turns over PH 30-year STI Foresight plan to DOST

November 28 ------ The National Academy of Science and Technology Philippines (NAST PHL), the country’s premier recognition and advisory body on science and technology (S&T), on Monday, Nov. 22, formally turned over the 30-year science, technology and innovation (STI) “Foresight” plan and roadmap to the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). During the first day of the National Science and Technology Week 2021, NAST PHL President Academician Rhodora Azanza turned over the “PAGTANAW 2050: The Philippine Foresight on Science Technology, and Innovation” to DOST Secretary Fortunato “Boy” T. de la Peña.

De la Pena said the 360-page PAGTANAW 2050 is the country’s first very first inter-disciplinary and trans-disciplinary document that is focused on the country’s science, technology, and innovation (STI). It was de la Peña who “commissioned” the NAST PHL to develop the STI foresight document. “This foresight would serve as the “beacon of light” in the preparation of strategies and proactively guiding institutions and individuals to the challenges that are yet to come,” the DOST chief said. He described PAGTANAW 2050 as “a compendium of science, technology and innovation megatrends; global and national societal goals; transdisciplinary and interdisciplinary operational areas; and current and emerging technologies relevant to the nation’s development.” He said the foresight document can serve as a blueprint for the DOST, other agencies, institutions and local government units (LGUs) to carry out their mandate, as it provides insights and recommendations on various aspects of national development based on the foresighted trajectories of Philippine STI’s enablers, drivers, and opportunities.

“The foresight emphasizes the country’s unique archipelagic nature and maritime base, which takes into account all of the country’s marine resources and traditions.” Academician William G. Padolina, who chairs the STI Foresight Project Steering Committee, said PAGTANAW 2050 has seven sections. These are the following:

-The Making of the 30-year Science, Technology, and Innovation Foresight and Strategic Plan

-Megatrends: From COVID-19 to Space and Beyond

-Setting Sights on the Future: Philippine Goals and Aspirations;

-Facets of Philippine Science, Technology, and Innovation

-Uncertainties, Risks, Shicks, and Black Swans

-A Roadmap to the Future

-Ensuring Continuity and Relevance

He said PAGTANAW 2050 is the product of the collective wisdom of the NAST PHL and the science community cognizant of the expectations of the Filipino people. “Hopefully, PAGTANAW 2050, through its compendium of technologies, can interphase with the developments in the operational areas to enhance our unity, inspire our spirits and heighten our resolve towards more progress by 2050,” Padolina said. De la Peña noted that through a unified science, technology, and innovation agenda, NAST Philippines came up with 12 key operational areas that will help in achieving the goals and aspirations of the Filipinos.

These are blue economy; governance; business and trade; digital technology/information and communications technology; science education and talent retention; food security and nutrition; health system; energy; water; environment and climate change; shelter, transportation, and infrastructure; and space exploration. “This first Philippine foresight also supports a technology-explicit development agenda that is inclusive, sustainable and nurturing for a citizenry that is educated, healthy, and productive.”

De la Peña said after the turnover, the dissemination and agency buy-in of PAGTANAW 2050 should be considered. “Secondly, we need to build the capacity of the agency’s workforce regarding strategic foresight and futures thinking.” He noted that currently, the DOST-Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD) has an ongoing project on futures thinking.

“Lastly, the long-term review and institutionalization of this Foresight should also be considered. With it being a long-term policy instrument, a foresight initiative merits regular review and updating in order for it to be relevant according to the times.” “Our event today is not only the culmination of this Foresight but also the start of involving futures thinking in science enculturation, which has become more relevant in improving the country’s governance in innovation. With this, I personally hope that S&T governance in the country will be fully empowered with the culture of strategic planning in the future.”